Published on: 11 May 2023
UKSA has announced that it has received sponsorship from WightFibre to fund Year 6 islanders to undertake its Test the Water programme until 2026.
The funds will enable all Year 6 island children to participate in a free half-day watersports session this year, in a bid to support all young islanders to gain water-confidence alongside introducing them to sailing. As well as covering aspects of water safety, which is crucial to island life, the sessions are designed to develop confidence and key skills including communication, resilience and teamwork.
John Irvine, CEO of WightFibre , provider of full-fibre broadband across the Isle of Wight said: “At WightFibre we care about our Island community. Through our sponsorship of the Test the Water programme, we are happy to help UKSA deliver new and positive life experiences for many young Islanders who otherwise – despite living on an Island – would never get the opportunity to get in or on the water. UKSA does amazing things and at WightFibre, we are happy to do our little bit to help and ensure this fantastic initiative will continue for many generations to come.”
Amy Sweeting, director of development and fundraising at UKSA said: “The Test the Water programme was developed to make a real, tangible difference to young people in UKSA’s community and we are really achieving that. This donation from WightFibre means children right here on the island can directly benefit from the funds. Sailing is often viewed as an elitist sport and we want to change any preconceptions locally by providing all young people with the opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing and watersports, regardless of their background. It’s important we do not lose sight of the fact that 32 percent of children on the Island live in poverty, without the opportunity to reach their full potential and need to ensure opportunities like this continue to exist and grow.”
Since 2015, 9261 Year 6 students have taken part in the Test the Water programme and so far this academic year (2022/23) 1210 children have taken part in a half-day session from 11 local primary schools.
For more information on the Test the Water programme, please visit www.uksa.org.